| WordPress

connections pluginDo you need to create a company directory with employee profiles? Maybe multiple departments in a larger company? Or a family directory for your next reunion?

The Connections plugin can make this a fairly easy task, allowing you to load headshots, full contact information and details on every member or employee, then display them on custom pages. In this tutorial we'll show you the basic features. The developers at http://connections-pro.com also sell extra features.

Step 1: Download and install

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Go to Plugins>Add New and search for Connections.

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Step 2: Plan and create categories

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After Installation you will see the Connections section added to the dashboard menu. Start by clicking on the Categories menu item and start entering categories. Give some thought to what you want to name them.

For instance in a large company, you might have the main categories be Marketing, Sales, Development, and then have sub categories. It will be much easier setting this up if you think about your categories in advance.

In the screen shot below, I added the category ID numbers to the titles, so that I would have a quick reference when typing in the short codes on pages and posts for the initial entry. I'll remove the numbers later and make them plain language.

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Step 3: Add your entries

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Click Add Entry on the Connections menu. Add your entries and assign them to the categories.

Step 4: Create a page for your directory

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You can use a page or a post, but assuming the directory is going to be somewhat static, you probably want to use a page in WordPress. You can use subpages for subdirectories or put everything on one page. It's all in how you write the shortcodes.

Step 5: Write the shortcodes

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Click on Help in the Connections administrative menu to get full instructions. There are a number of options for how to display the results. You can show a category and all of it's subcategories on one page, or you can have one category per page or more than one category on a page. There is a good list of examples to work from.

Tip

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A helpful thing to do at this point is to write down your category names and numbers if you have a complex directory. From the Connections menu click on Categories and look for the category ID on the far right.

Step 6: Design the basic page

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You an use any html to create explanations, headings or other items common the page. The shortcode will pull the information from the data base an display it according to the template you chose in the Connections administration. Connections comes with several layout choices.

You could use this plugin to create business/employee directories, a family directory for your next reunion, vendor profiles or just about any list of people who need to be categorized for easy finding.